Braxton magistrate will go before grand jury, prosecutor says

By Steve Korris | Jul 20, 2007

SUTTON – Criminal charges against Braxton County Magistrate Carolyn Cruickshanks will come before a grand jury in August, according to county prosecutor Daniel Dodson.

Dodson said July 18 that he did not know why two Justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals believed otherwise.

"There is some indication that the special prosecutor in this case will not present the matter to this term of the grand jury," Justice Joseph Albright wrote June 27 in a footnote to a dissent from a decision to suspend Cruickshanks without pay.

Justice Larry Starcher joined Albright's dissent.

Dodson said he had not read the dissent but he added, "That is not my understanding at all."

He said special prosecutor Robert Schulenberg would present the case to a special grand jury with a special judge in August.

He said circuit judges disqualified themselves.

State Police charged Cruickshanks with conspiracy to retaliate against a witness, after she delivered an envelope to son Jordan Grubb in jail.

The Supreme Court of Appeals suspended her without pay. She did not contest the suspension but she moved to continue receiving her pay.

Three of five Justices denied the motion June 6.

The other two protested.

"No consideration was given to the possibility that the magistrate could have had a meritorious defense," Albright wrote, also accusing the majority of "acting before adequate evidence is adduced or is apparent."

Justice Spike Maynard responded June 29 that, "…the facts and circumstances of this case raise a reasonable belief that Magistrate Cruickshanks likely committed the crime and violations charged."

Special prosecutor Schulenberg, an assistant Kanawha County prosecutor, did not return a call about the case.

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